Keep in mind that I was born in 1980. The following a year, a band you may have heard of, called the Rolling Stones released a track entitled “Start Me Up”. It was originally crafted 6 years earlier, scrapped twice from subsequent Stones albums, and added as a late set filler for their live show. Little did Keith Richards and crew realize, but that opening lick would become a rock classic. One that makes me want to full body dry heave my way around a stage as only the real Jagger could do.
It’s a track featured in Microsoft commercials, episodes of the Simpsons, and various sporting events. It’s a familiar classic that kicked off the 80’s, and perhaps trumped the death of fabulous rock music in one fell swoop.
But it’s a song that we channel often for beginning things. Sometimes we use it to motivate a long jog or a marathon vacuuming session. Regardless, it gets you moving even when you don’t want to.
The glorious Oklahoma City Barons are a good team. I don’t have to see the first game to realize this cold hard fact. The roster alone proves to be one that is lethal from all angles. But being good and winning are two very different things. As we’ve seen with the Oilers, and even with the players that are now in OKC for however long, young stars can’t polish broken brass no matter how hard you try (and your GM throws you to the wolves). But that won’t happen in OKC, will it? It can’t! Or can it? Like the great lyric says the goal is to “Start me up. If you start me up I’ll never stop” — let’s start the season, and hope we never stop.
October 12th and 13th vs. Lake Erie Monsters
Listen via LIVE365, KXXY96.1, or AHL Live ($$$)
Projected Oklahoma City Barons Lineup:
Magnus Paajarvi – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Jordan Eberle
Josh Green – Ryan Martindale – Tyler Pitlick
Teemu Hartikainen – Anton Lander – Mark Arcobello
Dane Byers – Chris Vande Velde – Curtis Hamilton
Justin Schultz – Martin Marincin
Taylor Fedun – Alex Plante
Brandon Davidson – Colten Teubert
Things Worth Noting On The Opponent:
As the Cleveland Plain Dealer points out, this is a very seasoned Lake Erie Monsters that the Oklahoma City Barons will be facing in week one.
17 of the 28 players on this year’s roster spent time with the Monsters at some point last season, including 6 players that got some NHL experience with the Colorado Avalance last season — Mike Connolly, David van der Gulik, Tyson Barrie, Mark Olver, Brad Malone and Stefan Elliot.
Add recently acquired San Antonio Rampage player, Bill Thomas, to the fray. He spent time with the Florida Panthers last season. He’s also a familiar face to the Barons who felt his wrath in the postseason in last year’s Calder Cup run.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t young. Seasoned, but still young. Four players from minor leagues lower than the AHL, four were in juniors, three from collegiate ranks, and two from overseas play — all add to the list of Erie Monsters circa 2012-2013.
The Monsters are being coached by Dean Chynoweth after David Quinn was upgraded to an assistant with the Avalanche. He has a thing or two to prove in his first season, with a solid lineup. Per the official release at the time of his hiring:
A defenseman, Chynoweth was selected 13th overall by the New York Islanders in the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. He went on to play parts of nine seasons in the NHL, recording a total of four goals, 18 assists and 667 penalty minutes in 241 games. Chynoweth played for both the Islanders (1988-96) and the Boston Bruins (1996-98). He also spent time in the AHL and IHL during his professional career.
Dean Chynoweth told CBS radio affiliate in Cleveland many things. Including how he lost his teeth, how cool Asian hockey owners can be (no, really), Trent Richardson (da Browns), and the new season (finally).
We are a young team with ten new guys. We have a real tough opponent in the Oklahoma City Barons with their tough kids. It will be a good test for our team and our two rookie goaltenders. We want to play a skilled, uptempo game. We want to get to a point where we create the identity of a fast, quick team.
The Oilers have no doubt jumped on the Barons bandwagon, and for good reason. But they too have some things to say about these Erie Monsters:
Unlike Edmonton, the Colorado Avalanche elected to not have 2011 first-round draft choice Gabriel Landeskog join the club’s AHL squad but the Lake Erie Monsters still possess a number of weapons. They have seven players who spent some time in the NHL last season in Mike Connolly, Bill Thomas, Mark Olver, Tyson Barrie, Brad Malone and Stefan Elliott.
Defenceman Elliott scored his first career NHL goal in his first career NHL game last season against the Oilers. Thomas and former Oilers prospect Bryan Lerg are both dangerous AHLers. The 30-year-old Thomas put up 27 goals and 52 points last season with San Antonio in 65 games. Lerg had 27 goals and 53 points in 70 games for Wilkes-Barre.
The Monsters are rolling with two rookie goaltenders. Neither have secured the starting position, and both will get time in the back-to-back game format. That might be problematic for the Monsters with high octane firepower from OKC.
Keep in mind the 6:30CST start time on Friday, and the NoonCST start on Saturday.
630 CHED in Edmonton will be carrying the game, but with tweaks tailored towards Oilers fans. They’ll be packaging the game around Beyers call, but with intermission commentary coming from Oilers radio folks.